J.J. Abrams’ invites you to explore a mystery and adventure! Join a young group of kids as they come upon an unexpected event that both challenges and changes their lives forever. In this retro-fitted sci-fi story, Abrams takes another successful advertising campaign (elusive teaser trailers -like the ones for Cloverfield; viral campaigns of secret encrypted messages; and other trailers seemingly loosely related to the first one) and transforms it into an unexpected tale of fun, wonder, excitement, fantasy, and reality all in one!
Check out the original attention-gripping trailer:
Taken directly from IMDB, here is a quick synopsis for Super 8:
In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
It is almost as if Spielberg is vicariously directing through J.J. Abrams. While directed, written, and produced by Abrams, Super 8 also shares the prestige of claiming Spielberg as a 2nd producer as well…and it shows. This nostalgic film takes so many different aspects and ideas from other Spielberg classics while introducing a new story altogether. To borrow an idea from one of my friends: “Super 8 attempts to take The Goonies, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and other such Spielberg movies and make them into one!” To be honest with you though, IT WORKS!!
Those that enjoy staple boyhood movies such as The Goonies, Stand By Me, The Sandlot, Little Rascals, and Hook will thoroughly enjoy the 1980’s feel of the same type of movie in Super 8. The group of aspiring movie-making middle school kids who run around laughing at and insulting each other, while trying to be cool but be themselves at the same time, are the ones who truly carry the film. That, and the mystery of what is going on in the small town. A tremendous adventure pulled right from the imagination of J.J. Abrams and that carries intrigue with it all the way to the end.
One of the best parts about Super 8: the cast! None of them are “A-List” actors (just like in films like The Goonies) and yet they all perform greatly and gather great laughs, connections, and comradery. Elle Fanning, Dakota Fanning’s younger sister, also impressed as the token girl of the group. When it comes to the stereotyped personas that one would expect to see in a group of middle school adolescent friends in a small town, they hit the nail on the head!
The mix of kids and characters worked, what about the movie itself? Well, the mix of genres surprisingly works sufficiently also for Super 8 (sci-fi, kids, adventure, action, family,…). An interesting blend that can be deceiving at times. The first act, with the introductions of the characters might find the viewer so engrossed with the kids, back story, and fun that it causes temporary short-term memory loss as to what type of movie it is and the promised foreboding train wreck and carnage that is to come in the 2nd and 3rd acts.
Without going any further into the plot and risking any spoilers allow me to sum up the film at this point.
Super 8: a new tribute to stories and films of the past (specifically the 80’s), and a new role model for monster movies of the future. Enjoyed will be the cinematography, the cast, the story, the outlandishness of it, the excitement, and the mystery of it all. While some special effects lack a little, and while portions are more unbelievable than an alien with a flashlight for a finger (a reference to E.T….NOT a spoiler, people!), and while other parts are a bit overdramatic like the subplot of an estranged father and child,
Super 8 still brings a fresh old feeling to the theaters that makes for a very fun watch! (I found myself wanting to watch the aforementioned boyhood movies all over again to enjoy some of the same feel-good experience that they bring again! You will too!) Kudos to Abrams for including the original Amblin Entertainment logo at the beginning of the movie!! and for including a fun “during the credits” scene also! Now, get to work on Star Trek 2 !! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 3 out of 5 stars for “Super 8” (this is one of those movies where the score doesn’t portray just how fun this film is still to watch! Go see Super 8 in theaters!!!)